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Prep football finally arrives

Do you know what today is? It’s a special day in the lives of those living in Ironton and Lawrence County. Yes, that’s right. Today marks the start of the high school football season.

It’s only physical fitness — practice can’t start until Aug. 2 — but it’s still the starting point.

Make no mistake about it, football is still king. I love the others sports and there have been some great team and individual accomplishments, but nothing seems to wake up the fans like football season.

Just going through Bartram’s Grocery the past few days I was stopped over and over. “What kind of team will the Tigers have this year? Who do you think will be the quarterback? What’s the backfield look like? Who do we have on the line? Will it be pretty good?”

The questions repeat themselves with the next fan. And on and on.

But that’s the fun of football.

While it is a fun time for the fans, the players aren’t real excited about the preseason running and practices. It’s hot, but it all pays off when it comes time to play the games.

Ironton’s fitness has always been one of the hardest parts of the entire season. I remember talking to a former Ironton player — Dusty Lawless — who had joined the Marines. When I asked him how tough boot camp was, he said it was pretty hard.

“But it wasn’t as hard as Coach Lutz’s physical fitness.”

Lutz’s fitness is legendary. It’s definitely not for the weak of heart. But if you make it, you’ve really accomplished something. And isn’t that what sports are all about, working hard and trying to achieve your goals?

Let the fun begin.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.